Date Published: 17-May-2011
By Denise McNamara
Galway City Council will advertise for expressions of interest to roll out a bike rental scheme next month, with plans to have it up and running in time for the Volvo Ocean Race in a year.
Transport Minister Leo Varadker indicated at the launch of National Bike Week in Eyre Square on Friday that he was in favour of extending the bike sharing scheme that is currently operating in Dublin to regional cities such as Galway in cooperation with local authorities.
“There is a provision in the programme for government for this,” he said. Galway was “exactly the type of city” where it would work extremely well, with its large student and tourist population, coupled with its compact size.
The scheme effectively operates as low-carbon public transport system, whereby people hire bicycles from various stations around the city.
The Galway Transportation Unit (GTU) is already working on plans for the scheme. In mid-June they plan to call for expressions of interest from companies which specialise in the schemes around Europe.
They will be asking for ideas on how a scheme would best operate in a city the size of Galway.
These submissions would then be examined and a proposal forwarded to the Minister in the autumn. It is hoped that funding for the scheme would be secured by early next year, with bikes available for hire across much of the city by the time thousands flock to the city for the Volvo Ocean Race next June.
JC Decaux operates the ones in Dublin and Paris, while Adshell is responsible for the scheme in Barcelona and was involved in the design of the one in Ghent, Belgium, a city similar in size and populace to Galway, according to Jim Molloy in the GTU.
“Ghent might be a good scheme for Galway to base itself on as it’s a university town and it’s very tourist-orientated, whereas the Dublin scheme is aimed at a much higher density and at the business community,” Mr Molloy explained.
“We don’t want to go the Dublin way of putting up massive advertising signs to fund it. A lot of companies have cut back on advertising so it’s not the big revenue stream it once was. We’d also look for a less intrusive scheme than in Dublin which involved digging up a lot of ground.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.